Cosmetic dentistry vs general dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry Vs General Dentistry: Which One You Need?

Are you struggling with severe tooth decay requiring a procedure such as a root canal treatment? Or are you simply looking to enhance your smile with a cosmetic procedure like porcelain veneers?

Deciding between general and cosmetic dentistry can often take a lot of work. While both fields promise to enhance your oral health, they offer different services and cater to distinct patient needs.

Understanding the difference between cosmetic dentistry vs general dentistry and deciding which is right for you can be the key to getting the most out of your dental care.

What Is General Dentistry?

Also known as family dentistry, general dentistry is focused on maintaining oral hygiene and dental health. A general dentist offers a wide range of services for patients of all ages, from kids to adults.

It includes services like:

  • Regular cleanings
  • Dental examinations
  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions
  • Dentures
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Treatment for gum disease
  • Oral cancer screenings

These restorative treatments aid in maintaining oral function and treating common dental conditions.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry aims to improve the appearance of teeth. So, what is considered cosmetic dentistry? This treatment may include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Dental bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Gum contouring
  • Dental crowns
  • Enamel shaping

Other types of services include tooth-colored fillings and composite resin shells. These procedures can address decayed teeth, misaligned teeth, discolored teeth, stained teeth, and more.

Are Dentures Considered Cosmetic?

Dentures, while often considered a restorative treatment, can also fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry. This is especially true when viewed from an aesthetic aspect. Dentures not only restore the function of missing or decayed teeth, but they also enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile.

Cosmetic Dentist Vs. General Dentist: What Are Their Differences?

1. Extent of Specialization

A cosmetic dentist and a regular dentist provide distinct areas of specialization. A regular dentist or a dental professional mainly focuses on dental care involving oral health and hygiene, provides treatments for tooth decay or oral health issues, conducts preventive care through regular cleanings and dental exams and manages basic dental conditions like cavity fillings, tooth extractions etc.

However, a cosmetic dentist provides services aimed at enhancing the visual attractiveness of the patient’s teeth and mouth and achieving a pleasing smile. This includes procedures like teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental bonding for misshapen or misaligned teeth, dental crowns for broken or damaged teeth, and other aesthetic enhancements.

2. Dental Training and Education

Though both general and cosmetic dentists require a dental degree and dental school training, cosmetic dentists often undergo additional training or specialized training to become proficient in cosmetic treatments. General dentistry education mainly focuses on mastering the diagnosis, oral health concerns, regular check-ups, treatment of common dental afflictions, and preventative dental care.

3. Costs of Dental Services

Due to their unique skills and the complexity of the procedures, cosmetic dentists usually charge more for their services than regular dentists. Cosmetic dentistry includes procedures that require specialized training, the use of advanced materials like porcelain or composite resin, and sometimes advanced technology. The treatments provided by a regular dentist, on the other hand, are more routine and wider in range, hence usually more affordable.

4. Dental Health and Aesthetic Goals

The goals of cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry are diverse. General dentistry aims to ensure oral health, manage oral function efficiently, and the prevention and treatment of dental health issues. Cosmetic dentistry, however, aims to enhance the aesthetic aspect and appearance of teeth and smiles using an aesthetic approach along with dental health improvements.

5. Utilization of Technology and Dental Materials

The advancement in technology and materials used by dental professionals differs significantly. Regular dentists utilize tools and technology to emphasize oral hygiene habits and conduct dental cleanings and dental health procedures.

Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, demands higher-end technology like laser dentistry and 3D imaging and the use of high-quality materials such as porcelain or composite resin for dental veneers, tooth-colored fillings, or dental crowns for an appealing solution for dental aesthetics.

Cosmetic Dentist Vs. Orthodontist: When Do I Need Them?

Purpose of Treatment

A cosmetic dentist concentrates on enhancing the appearance of your teeth, gums, and bite. Conversely, orthodontists focus on the alignment and occlusion of teeth and jaws. They utilize procedures such as braces and aligner trays to correct issues like misaligned teeth or malocclusion, which is a misalignment of the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed.

However, the field of orthodontics has expanded, and some orthodontists also offer aesthetic improvements. Known as cosmetic orthodontics, they merge the functionality of orthodontics with the aesthetics of cosmetic dentistry.

Nature of Dental Issues

Dental health issues vary from misalignment of teeth and tooth decay to discolored teeth. Depending on the nature of these issues, either a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist might be better suited to address them. For instance, a cosmetic dentist is trained to treat cases of decayed teeth with tooth-colored fillings or correct the alignment of teeth using composite resin shells.

Conversely, if your concern involves aligner braces for severe tooth misalignment, you should consult an orthodontist.

The Desired Outcome

Your desired outcome will significantly influence which dental professional you should choose. If you wish to have a dazzling smile with perfectly aligned and beautiful teeth, a cosmetic dentist with advanced training in dental aesthetics can deliver this by offering various cosmetic dentistry treatments.

However, if oral function, such as correct bite function, is your priority, an orthodontist might be the better choice.

Treatment Procedures

Specific procedures, such as porcelain veneers, are commonly performed by cosmetic dentists. So, if you’re wondering, “Who does veneer, a dentist or an orthodontist?”—you should reach out to a qualified cosmetic dentist. On the other hand, orthodontic treatment, such as aligner braces, falls within the scope of an orthodontist.

Your Oral Health

Your overall oral health plays a crucial role in determining which dental professional you should see. If your oral health concerns involve routine cleanings, preventing tooth decay, oral cancer screenings, or addressing other oral health issues, a regular dentist would be appropriate.

But if your circumstances involve misshapen teeth or discolored teeth, or you want a more pleasing smile, a cosmetic dentist might be more suitable. For alignment issues, crooked teeth, or bite concerns, you might need orthodontic treatment from an orthodontist.

Choose Dental Care that Suits Your Needs at Dedicated Dental Studios

At Dedicated Dental Studios, we’re all about providing the tailored dental care you need—be it cosmetic dentistry vs. general dentistry. Whether you’re looking to maintain healthy teeth through routine cleanings or want to achieve that confident smile with our cosmetic procedures, our highly skilled dental professionals are here for you. We blend advanced technology, expert care, and a comfortable environment to deliver results that surpass your expectations.

Let’s bring that beautiful smile to life together. Schedule your appointment today with Dedicated Dental Studios.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *